My kids just finished an epic two weekend run of Les Miserables as part of seventy-three member cast, with superb talent in the principal roles and backed up by a top-notch orchestra and a very gifted, seasoned crew. It was simply an amazing production. I saw the movie Les Miserables, but the show, this show blew it away.
There are a number of lessons that we as the body of Christ could learn from community theater.
There is one Director.
Yes, the Director delegated responsibilities to the technical director, the musical director, the stage manager, the costumer and others, but the Director has the last word, and everybody understood that.
In the body of Christ, we have one pastor. Often we have additional leaders to help shoulder some of the responsibilities, but there is only one leader.
They were more committed to the show than the role.
My youngest was the only one of my kids to get the part he or she wanted. Hers was a no-line walk-on role, but it meant wearing a pretty dress. That was all Rachel needed to hear. The older two rehearsed, auditioned and waited for a very long two days to learn they didn’t get the parts they wanted. They weren’t the only ones who were dejected when the cast list was posted, but after the disappointment faded, they respected the Director’s decision. They were committed to the show not the part.
We have a mission, not a performance, but we need to be more committed to accomplishing what Christ gave us to do than the role we play in it.
Everyone involved had a tremendous desire to bring the production to life and to make it the best it can be.
They knew the story and everyone, from the leads to the chorus went the extra mile to lend depth and realism to it. A number of the cast had the show memorized before rehearsals even began. They weren’t doing it for money, or notoriety, or to advance their careers or to earn an award. For the community theater, it’s a labor of love. They love the show, the story, the music and they love the opportunity to perform it.
We as believers need that same desire to bring the gospel to life for those around us.
The entire group willingly sacrificed sleep, missed meals, and put everything else on hold for the sake of the show.
It was no secret what the rehearsal schedule would be– four nights a week, two or three hours a night. Then the last week, it was a killer. We had dinner at four p.m. so the kids could make a 5 p.m. call. Then they ran the full show and had a meeting afterwards so the Director could make last-minute tweaks. It was ten thirty or eleven when they got home. Four nights of that then three shows in three days. But I don’t know of anyone who looked at the schedule and backed out.
Christ calls us to sacrifice, to lay down our lives, to take up our crosses for the sake of the Gospel. It’s no secret what His expectations are. We love the idea of sacrificing for the kingdom, but the reality is often another matter.
Everyone’s gifts were valued.
The whole company understood that no matter how well the singers performed, if the lights and microphones didn’t work, neither would the show. They deeply appreciated everyone’s contributions and aren’t bashful about saying so.
Even New Testament believers struggled with wanting the high-profile gifts and ministries. Paul encouraged us to remember that God values services differently than we do. He’s much more concerned with our surrender and obedience.
They weren’t deterred by adversity.
Between casting and rehearsals, one of the principles underwent unplanned surgery. Two or three rounds of stomach flu raged through the cast. A couple of the cast lost members of their extended family. There were colds, allergies, lost voices and collapsed lung.
We were promised adversity, especially considering the enemy is constantly working against us. We can’t let that stop us.
They all had a sense that they were part of something amazing.
Reading Facebook posts and comments from the company in the weeks leading up to the show, the common thread was humble anticipation. Their enthusiasm spread to the audience even before the first notes, and the audience went home with a true ‘wow’ experience.
When we get bogged down in the details, we need to remind ourselves that we are part of God’s amazing redemptive plan. Our enthusiasm (or lack thereof) is infectious.
What do you think? Are there other lessons we could learn?